World

Search launched for 15 missing adventure tourists caught in storm while kayaking in Greenland

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Rescuers have launched a search for 15 adventure tourists missing after being hit by a storm while kayaking in the icy waters off eastern Greenland.

In western Greenland, meanwhile, one Norwegian tourist was found dead and two others are still missing from a fishing trip.

The Danish navy said Wednesday it has sent a ship to the area where the kayakers were last seen and emergency crews were also searching the Arctic wilderness by plane and helicopter.

"We are trying to make contact with three groups of kayakers, totaling 15 people in all," police spokesman Morten Nielsen told The Associated Press by telephone from Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

Authorities said 27 people had been kayaking in small groups Tuesday in a vast fjord system near the settlement of Illoqqortoormiut (ee-lor-KOO-toor-mee-oot) when a sudden storm rolled in. Twelve of them, including six Germans, have been found.

Some of the kayakers were rescued safely even after capsizing in the frigid water, Nielsen said. No distress signals have been seen yet from the missing tourists, whose nationalities were not immediately known.

Illoqqortoormiut is 280 miles (450 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle.

Greenland, a semiautonomous Danish territory, attracts adventure tourists in the summer months, who go hiking in its snowcapped mountains and kayaking in fjords with majestic icebergs. The vistas are stunning but the treks can be dangerous. Weather conditions change rapidly and rescue services are limited.

A Norwegian tourist was found dead in a river in western Greenland earlier this week, Nielsen reported Wednesday, and two other Norwegians who accompanied him are still missing.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of Illoqqortoormiit.)